Thursday, November 15, 2012

Budget Cuts Affect Us All

We've decided (or rather were forced) to go on a budget.  we're cutting out our second biggest expenditure - eating out.  WE LOVE TO EAT especially at restaurants.  Over time, that adds up quickly to a lot of wasted money.  We're even going to be picky about what food we're going to buy.  we cut cable (right as The Walking Dead was getting good), cut our home phone line, and are watching our gas cinsumption (my biggest expenditure).  After 1 day of going without fast food, I am feeling the effects.

The first thing I noticed were the habits I got into eating out all of the time.  I had done an audition in the middle of the day in Chicago and had class at night.  There was no point in going back to Indiana to just come back up again to Chicago so I decided to hang out and work from the city.  To avoid spending money on food, I packed a lunch and dinner with me.  Right after the audition was done, I started driving north to find a spot I can work in close to where my class was being held.  I began driving north and all of a sudden I noticed that I was automatically heading over to Uncle Julio's Hacienda!  DAH!  I passed it up and was about to turn around and went, "Wait.  I have a cot damn lunch!  STOP IT!"  Right then I knew this was going to be harder than I thought.

I ate my lunch ravenously and felt better.  I then went to Starbucks and got my planned snack and drink before dinner while I worked.  No problem.  However, right as dinner time approached I was starting to get super hungry again.  I had grabbed a couple of microwavable cups of lasagna on my way out for dinner along with a fork.  Then I realized, "Hey, I don't have access to a microwave!"  The prospect of having to eat the food cold was not very enticing. 

After taking a nap in the car (opa gungham style), I decided to leave my car where it was and walk the four and a half blocks to the class location.  I've not been exercising since I moved to Crown Point so I feel like I needed to walk a bit more (getting kinda doughy).  I took my food with me and began my journey.  I got the my destination in 15 minutes which left 30 minutes before my scheduled class was supposed to start.  I decided to break down and buy the cheapest food I could find to hold me over until I got home.  I kept walking.

A friend of mine called me and saved the day by reminding my that local convenience stores have microwaves.  Luckily I was in the vicinity of 7-11 so I headed over there with a renewed sense of purpose.  I bought my allotted drink, warmed up my food, and tore it apart quickly as I walked back to class.  Mission accomplished!

After class, I was again hungry.  I decided to go home instead of hanging out with some classmates as that would necessitate eating out.  My stomach was in turmoil all the way home but I told my self to chill out and wait to get home.  I drove rather slowly to save on gas as well.  Once I got home, I went straight to bed to avoid consuming calroies I knew I wasn't going to burn off.

So back to my initial question.  I by no means am poor but this experience made me question what I would do if I were poor.  Eating is important but eating gross amounts of food like I've been doing is bad for my health and especially my wallet.  By no means am I trying to draw a true parallel between my situation and someone who really has no means to eat well.  I just feel that I just gained some new insight into how hard it could be to stay well fed when you've restricted your options.